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Organiser hoping for Who coup in Swansea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 27, 2011

Cary Woodward who is organising a massive Dr Who convention in the city

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A WHO’S Who of TV and film stars will once again descend on Swansea for the city’s big annual celebration of Doctor Who.

And organiser Cary Woodward will be on a mission of his own to try to persuade another familiar face to join them.

He has already signed up former Doctor Sylvester McCoy and acting legend David Warner to make the trip to SA1’s Village Hotel, where the two-day Regenerations gathering will be held in September.

Lifelong Who fan Cary will be attending a film and comics convention in London’s Earls Court next month in the hope of getting Karen Gillan, who plays Amy Pond in the new series, to join the guest list.

“Actors in the current shows are restricted in what they can do, but if you don’t ask you don’t get,” said Cary, who shares his St Thomas home with a massive collection of memorabilia from the series. “I’m going to write a letter which will be hand- delivered to Karen, and then I hope to have a word with her afterwards.

“Sylvester McCoy and Louise Jameson, who played Leela, will be there as well. They have been to Regenerations before and are coming back this year, so they will be able to vouch for me.”

Even if he cannot persuade the Doctor’s latest companion to come down to Swansea, Cary still has an impressive list of names associated with the series to be there.

Apart from Sylvester McCoy and David Warner, the roster includes classic series stars Frazer Hines, Sophie Aldred, Matthew Waterhouse, Anneke Wills, Wendy Padbury and others.

Another guest is Frances Barber, who plays the mysterious Eye Patch Lady in the current series and who had a critical role in the cliffhanger episode leading up to its mid-season break.

“Getting Frances is a real coup for us because her storyline isn’t finished,” said Cary. “There is a chance the next episode will be broadcast that weekend, but if it’s not, she definitely won’t be spilling the beans.”

Regenerations is now in its sixth year. But as to its future, even Cary would need a Tardis to find out what lies ahead — and he’s the man who calls the shots. I will definitely continue running it until 2013, which is when the show will be 50 years old and so will I,” he explained.

“The plan is to do a really big Doctor Who event, and that will probably be the last.

“But I don’t know if I believe that even as I’m saying it because I really enjoy running them.

“It’s limited to 200 people, which is about the right number — big enough to attract people from all over the world but small enough to run it in a very friendly and relaxed way.

“It has become a social occasion. We get a lot of regulars from the States who meet up here every year. It’s really nice.”

Regenerations will be staged on September 17 and 18 and is expected to be sold out.

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